Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physiology, NRI IMS, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

2 Department of Community Medicine, KIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India


BACKGROUND: Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among
adolescents, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among the young and adolescents.
Since we have limited data on the prevalence of psychological distress among the youth of India,
our aim was to estimate the prevalence of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression among
students of professional colleges.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh (India).
A total of 502 apparently healthy students have participated in this study. Data were collected from
243 medical students, 119 engineering students, 103 dental students, and 36 nursing students.
A pretested, prevalidated, and structured Kessler’s Psychological Distress Scale (K10) was used for
the assessment of mental health among students. This is a self‑administered questionnaire‑based
cross‑sectional study. Microsoft Office Excel was used for data storage and tabulation. Mean,
standard deviation, Chi‑square test, Mann–Whitney U‑test, and Kruskal–Wallis test were used to
find the association difference between various parameters using SPSS 22 software.
RESULTS: Out of 502 students, 34.7% of students were found to have normal mental health, 135
students were having mild mental problems, and 116 and 77 had moderate and severe mental illness,
respectively. Out of 197 males, 66 were normal, 61, 46, and 24 had mild, moderate, and severe
mental problems, respectively. Out of 305 females, only 108 were found to be normal.
CONCLUSION: Male students were found to have higher prevalence of mental abnormalities.
A significant higher prevalence of depression is seen in day‑scholars compared to hostellers. Nursing
students are having significantly higher prevalence of depression and nonpsychotic mental illness
as compared to dental, engineering, and medical students. Medical students are having the lowest
rate of depression than other nonmedical professional subjects.


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